Homemade Caramel Sauce


Standard caramel sauce made from scratch using only three ingredients is easier than you think!

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Do these situations sound familiar? You’re getting ready to bake a chocolate cake when you go into your pantry and realize you are out of cocoa powder while your butter is already at room temperature and the oven is fully preheated. Or you have unexpected company and no time to make dessert. Or you are in the middle of a blizzard and can’t drive anywhere. Or you live too far from the grocery store to justify a half hour round trip for one little item. Or maybe you are on a really tight budget and have to use up every little bit of food in your house until the next paycheck. If you said yes to any of these scenarios, #SundaySupper is here to save you! Our theme today is 5 Ingredients or Less recipes. Just as the name states, these recipes are made with few ingredients yet pack lots of flavor. Take this Homemade Caramel Sauce for example. With only three ingredients and a few minutes, you can whip up this sauce when a sweet tooth craving attacks. Have company over? Make this sauce and pour it over ice cream. Maybe your slice of chocolate cake is missing a bit of oomph. Or perhaps you want to go the (semi) healthy route and serve something with your apples like I did. However you choose to eat your Homemade Caramel Sauce, it is a necessity to have in your recipe arsenal.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Do you know what caramel sauce is? You’re probably sitting there going, duh of course I know caramel! However, my friend Jenni of Pastry Chef Online explained how a lot of people mix up caramel and butterscotch. Caramel sauce is made with white sugar and heavy cream. Butterscotch is made with brown sugar and no dairy. It’s quite fascinating (and a little disheartening) when I read that I actually enjoy butterscotch. I’ve always said I hated it, but as Jenni pointed out, store-made butterscotch isn’t even close to the real thing. Now I’m going to have to rethink things. Anyway, this is true caramel sauce, my friends. True and pure. When I was looking up caramel sauces, I found one that said “caramel sauce with a hint of butterscotch.” I laughed because it actually is butterscotch. No wonder there was a “hint” of it ;)

Homemade Caramel Sauce

I’ll be honest – as easy as it is to make caramel sauce, it scares me. Wait, don’t go! Before you get all freaked out, all you have to do is not be as dumb as me. You see, years ago (I think I was still in college?), I made caramel sauce for the first time. When I stir things, I have a tendency to bang the spoon off the edge of the pan to get the excess off. Well, when I did that, a piece of the caramel sauce flew back and landed on my finger. You see, caramel sauce is sticky and much hotter than boiling water. When you get boiling water on you, you shake it off. When you get caramel sauce on you, you shake it off with no luck. It stays on your finger until you wash it off with cold water. It left a nice burn mark for at least six months.

Homemade Caramel Sauce
Homemade Caramel Sauce
Homemade Caramel Sauce
Homemade Caramel Sauce
Homemade Caramel Sauce
Fast forward to today, and I’m still making caramel sauce. See? Even the pain couldn’t keep me away with something so easy and delicious to make. Of course I’m a lot more conscious of not hitting my spoon. Sometimes you just have face your fears in order to be rewarded with something delicious.

Yields 1

Homemade Caramel Sauce
Save Recipe


1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, preferably room temperature
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional for salted caramel)


  1. Have all of the ingredients ready to go because the process will go by quickly. Clear a path to the sink in case you need cold water.
  2. Place the sugar in the bottom of a heavy, deep saucepan and heat over medium heat. As the sugar melts, start whisking. Once it comes to a boil, stop stirring. As soon as all of the sugar is a light amber color, carefully add the butter and whisk until melted (the sugar should look lighter than you would like because it will keep cooking. If you wait until the right shade of amber, it will burn once it is finished).
  3. Remove the pan from the heat. Carefully and slowly add the cream then once it settles down, whisk to incorporate*. Add salt if using. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a heat-proof container. Cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Warm before serving.


*If your caramel seizes (clumps) up when adding the cream, put it back over low heat and carefully whisk until smooth again. If needed, strain the sauce before cooling to remove any small clumps.


Source: Simply Recipes

This is just one of the awesome recipes you can make with 5 ingredients or less. You can seriously make a whole meal with the rest of the #SundaySupper recipes:

Breakfast, Starters, Butters and Jams:

Main Dishes:



Love what you read? Receive new posts in your inbox!

Did you make my recipe?

That makes my heart happy! Please let me know by sharing a photo on my Facebook page or uploading and tagging me on Twitter or Instagram using #chocolatemoosey (Note: If your Instagram account is private, you'll need to @chocolatemoosey as the hashtag won't make your photos public)

Comment Policy

Thank you for your comments! I read every single one and respond when possible. Your comment will show up once approved. I have the right the remove any that are spam or are downright spiteful.


  1. Store bought is never as good as homemade. And caramel is so amazing, just goes with soooo many things! I thought caramel was just sugar and sometimes water, and butterscotch involved adding cream. Now I know better! Love your pics Carla!

  2. Thanks for the education about caramel vs. butterscotch. Your photos are absolutely stunning!

  3. Caramel making burns are the worst! However, nothing beats homemade caramel sauce and I’ll usually risk tasting it right out of the pot because it is just so darn good!

  4. A jar of homemade caramel would be so dangerous in my house! oh the number of things I would just pour it on.. Lovely recipe. Happy Sunday! :)

  5. Huh. I didn’t know that about butterscotch and caramel, either! Your caramel sauce is GORRRGEOUS and looks like perfection!

  6. Yeah…can I just have you make it for me?

  7. Easy peasy! And thanks for the little lesson on caramel v. butterscotch.

    Beautiful photos…as usual!

  8. You always need caramel sauce on hand, and I think I’ve found the perfect recipe!

  9. You always have the best dessert ideas. I go straight to you site now when looking for dessert ideas.

  10. Your caramel sauce looks AMAZING Carla. Delicious!

  11. Your photos are beautiful! Caramel sauce on top of apples is one of my all time favorites! Thank you for your delicious recipe!

  12. Oh man I need to make this now! This looks incredible!

  13. Good to know the difference between caramel and butterscotch. I always claim to dislike butterscotch as well, but that’s probably because I have never had homemade. Caramel on apples sounds like a nice snack right now.. I will nervously have to give this a shot soon!

  14. I hear the word butterscotch and all I can think of is the original Willie Wonka movie….butterscotch….buttergin….lol

    Looks delicious! and I want to lick the spoon when you are done drizzling!

  15. I have made homemade caramel before, but think I stopped cooking the sugar too soon for fear of it burning. It was a light golden instead of this pretty dark shade you got! Guess I need to try again!!

  16. As usual, it’s so impressive– the recipe and the pictures. I am trying this soon (since I’ve recently recovered from my own homemade caramel candy burns…)

  17. Beautiful presentation – this sounds fantastic!

  18. I just want a spoon!

  19. Now that’s just too sinfully good. And useful. Heck, that’d be going on EVERYTHING.

  20. Looks absolutely delicious! I like a good thick caramel sauce and yours look amazing!

  21. Carla, you make me love you more and more each day! I could just eat this by the jar full! Probably why I haven;t made it in a while. Now, because of you, I know I’ll be making up a batch in the next few days, and then a few days after that, and then probably again next week. You’re such a bad influence on me!

  22. Oh how I know about cooking the sugar too long and it having the burnt taste. When it is done right caramel sauce tastes heavenly and you did a fabulous job with your photos of making it look as heavenly as it tastes.

  23. I love homemade caramel sauce, so many uses, so decadent. You have lovely pictures too!

  24. Of all the possibilities you listed for using this caramel sauce, did you mention just eating it with a spoon? :)

  25. This recipe makes me very excited :) I cannot thank you enough for sharing this with us. PS your pics are amazing

  26. My mother-in-law makes her caramel with sugar and condensed milk. I love your addition of honey, I think I might give your recipe a try next time I make it

  27. I didn’t realize homemade caramel was so straight forward! Thanks!

  28. Wow never knew the difference between caramel and butterscotch!!Your caramel sauce and the pics are absolutely drool worthy!!!Need to try it soon :)

  29. I didn’t know that difference either. I though butterscotch was caramel sauce with butter added.

    Your sauce looks lovely and dark. Mine is often much paler because I’m scared of burning it. I need to be braver. And not use a dark pot.

  30. Eric Kirkeeng says:

    Great recipe for caramel, I use equal parts BROWN sugar and butter for mine. I melt the butter until it starts to bubble, add brown sugar and bring to a boil until all the sugar chrystals melt (this way the sauce won’t chrystalize while its cooling). I add 40% Heavy Cream to finish it off. Add any liquor for a great foster sauce or Cheesecake topping.



  31. This look amazing, Carla! It so tempted that I wish to lick it now. Wonderful recipe and please be more careful on your next round of making caramel….

  32. I’m drooling over your caramel sauce. I want to stick my tongue under that spoon. Oops, did I say too much. Sorry, but I do.

  33. This caramel sauce looks amazing!!! Love it!

  34. I made this earlier this week – super good!

  35. Has anyone had an experience making caramel sauce with coconut oil instead of butter? I did, and after going through all that work stirring the sugar (pick a utensil with a LONG handle!!), and pouring in the oil, I remembered that butter and oil don’t have the same ratio of fat… at all! The layer of oil was sitting on top and not wanting to incorporate. So my disappointed husband turned off the flame, dropping as he walked away that he will live without dessert… leaving me with a hardening sugary mess:) I turned the flame back on, softened the sugar back to liquid (more stirring!!) then poured off as much oil off the top as I could. After that it seemed to be just enough oil to get mixed into the caramel. Whew, now we are back on track. And then came the scary part.. the cream!! Good heavens! This is why you need a deep saucepan – the whole molten lava-hot mixture starts dancing around and rising almost to the rim of the pan! I think I heard some devilish voices screaming from out of there… Anyway, by the time it calmed down and I whisked it together AGAIN (yay…) out came this pretty nice caramel with a hit of coconut, not too oily, not burnt, and amazing!! :)

    • Sounds like you had quite an adventure, Ira! Glad you were able to salvage it. And yes, deep saucepan is key! No matter how many times I’ve made caramel sauce, it still scares me a little. Thanks for sharing your story! If anyone else wants to use coconut oil, now they know :)

  36. Hi there!

    Planning to use your recipe for a xmas gift! Can’t wait to taste test it :)

    Do you know how long it keeps?


  37. Pamulia Nelson says:

    I loved your commentary with the recipe. It made me laugh. I read it and then just went and made this. AMAZING!!! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  38. Somehow I am just getting notice that you linked to my butterscotch/caramel post. So, a very belated thank you for the link! =)

  39. So, is it still butterscotch when people cheat and use brown sugar and whipping cream?

  40. I’ve tried to make caramel twice, and each time i ruined it..i guess i’m a master of ruinung it.
    Your sauce looks so good!

  41. How long is the sauce good for and do you have to refrigerate it once you’ve made it?

    • Yes, you do need to refrigerate it if you don’t use it all. The FDA wants me to tell you 2 weeks in the fridge, but I personally used it after a month and was fine.


  1. […] Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey […]

  2. […] Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey […]

  3. […] Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey […]

  4. […] Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey […]

  5. […] Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey […]

  6. […] Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey […]

  7. […] Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey […]

  8. […] Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey […]

  9. […] Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey […]

  10. […] Homemade Caramel Sauce – Chocolate Moosey […]

Speak Your Mind